Monday, August 29, 2011

My Pet Peeve - Bullying and Changing Yourself For Others

Growing up my biggest pet peeve was watching some of my closest friends change. Not in general, but for other people.  I never understood it and it drove me crazy.  I was close friends with this girl, we'll call her Rachel, who would always talk about wanting to be popular. Rachel and I became friends in middle school and we had a group of friends that we would have sleepovers with and always had a blast together. Though we had fun, we would always bump heads. When we got into high school, she made some new friends and "finally" made the cheerleading squad (for JV Basketball). So from then on we no longer spoke. I'm not saying I never changed. I have but within my own person. Not for anyone. For example,  my husband smokes. We have been together for 4 years and I have never even tried to smoke. Most couples you hear like this, they both end up smokers. I have kept the same friends throughout mylifetime.  I have become friends with some "popular" people at a few points in my life but never on a "hang out" basis. I don't see myself as being too different than what I used to be. Here is a perfect example of a situation I experienced in middle school that both represents bullying and changing for others. It happened right before my very eyes and in an instant I lost a best friend. (We will call her Kelly in this story).

I had a best friend named Kelly in middle school. We we're always together and loved eachother's company. We especially loved Hanson...the boy band? You know, MMmmBop? Anyway, this was our common love.  Well, Kelly had a birthday (I think it was a birthday I don't remember) and she invited me and two other friends from her previous school to her house for a sleepover. As soon as these girls came over I was the 4th wheel and I didn't find them amusing at all. As soon as they went into her room they ripped down all of her Hanson posters without even asking and started putting up Leonardo DiCaprio posters (This was back when Titanic first came out) and told her how Hanson was stupid or whatever. I looked at her like "Are you going to let them do this to you"?? Well, she did. These girls were that overbaring, bubbily, snobby type. They were very mean to me. They ignored me a lot. That night they thought it would be funny to pretend to be strippers (This is 6th or 7th grade keep in mind). So they strippped down to their underwear and started dancing on a stuffed bear. I just sat there in disbelief. This is when I should have called my parents. When it was finally time to go to bed us three girls were sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor while Kelly had her bed. Well, the other girls thought it would be funny to leave me alone and hop into bed with Kelly. I was so hurt from the whole day I tried to call my parents on the phone. It was so late I don't think they heard it.  I was so miserable and felt so alone I wanted to go home so badly.  I remember waking up in the morning and Kelly's mom could tell something was wrong with me. I don't remember if I told anyone at her house because I was just so ready for my mom to get me.  I never got an apology from Kelly, I don't think. If I did it was sometime in high school and  not very heartfelt. She became one of them to say the least. 

Although this was a bad situation it allowed me to never put myself in that situation again...on purpose. I went to a couple of birthday parties where the girl was "popular" and there were boys and girls there.  It just didn't feel right to me and it felt  more grown up than I was ready for. I enjoyed my group of girlfriends where we had fun sleepovers and talked about boys and would just laugh all the time. I was blessed to have several groups of friends growing up. These groups of friends made my middle school experience a blast overall.

Working in After School for years I also see bullying on the outside. I am a huge advocate for children being bullied or made fun of. Sometimes I get too passionate which can come accross as mad so I would have to keep myself in check. I am not afraid to stick up for someone who is being bullied. Are you?

Any of you been through a situation of bullying?

Photo By:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Greeting Cards and Tags Whoo hoo!

Ok, so I got my first sale a few days ago.  The buyer who was incredibly helpful and to be quite honest put my butt into gear on making my artwork into cards. I had bought cardstock a while back to attempt to make cards but never got around to it. So here I am now making some swesome cards and tags.  I'm selling them on my Etsy shop at  I made some more silhouette cut out art also!  Loving it!  I can't wait to do a craft show, I think they will do well, especially the cards. Check it out!

The following pictures are of my new cut outs! 

The Witch's Cabinet 


 The Nightmare Before Christmas

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Some more of my cutting abilities...or lack there of?

OK, so I've gone nuts with the cutting art.  Ideas are just flowing. I have been doing my daily devotions for over a month now and I truely believe God planted this artform in my head. Before I had never had a second thought about cutting art...probably not even a first thought. I prayed about where he wanted me to go with my art for a while.  I want to use the gift He has given me the way He wants me to use it.  I know I'm not fantastic with it, but I know with some practice (and a better knife) I will get better. So for now while I'm practicing, I'm having fun. Take a peek at what I've accomplished thus far!

Right now I'm working on a Cinderella piece I'm on the fence about. I think I have to finish it before I can judge what I think about it. 

Feel free to leave comments on what you think!  Productive criticism is always welcome!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My First Attempt At The Art Of Cutting

So this was my first attempt at the art of cutting.  I absolutely love this.  I'm usually very critical of my work, but I just can't get over how well this turned out. It took me about 5 hours to complete. I drew it up the night before and cut most of the day yesterday.  Let me tell you it took a toll on my hand.  Cutting cardstock is tough, but it's durable.  I think this my become my new obsession.

Now, what to do next.  Mucha inspired perhaps? I already have something drawn out I was going to paint. It will look cool cut out. So let's give it a go!  Off to cut!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Who Needs A Cricut? The Art of Paper Cutting.

This happens to me quite often. I get an idea for something and run with it.  It all started when I decided to pick up Anya's scrapbook and work on it.  I went out and bought some of those adorable stickers to adorn it with.  I spent 13 some dollars on paper cutout stickers and that was after the 40% off each one.  So, I went on my merry way home and started to look at them and think....I could make these.  Then I started to think of the Cricut machine.  Wishing I had one, but they cost like 300.00!  Then I got to thinking more.."How are these things made??"  How would I make these?  Then it hit me.  "You're an artist, dummy.  Draw it out and cut it out with an X-Acto knife"!  I just had to relearn positive and negative space.  It didn't take me too long to figure it out.  I drew out a haunted house and cut it out with what I had.  A matt cutter.  Let me tell you, it came out okay for my first attempt, but not nearly as well as an X-Acto knife would have done.  My blade got dull halfway which started to tear the paper. Not good.  So I started doing some research and started to really fall in love with the art form.  I found this artist on Etsy who does some of my favorite work so far.  Check him out here

Leave it to me to find the most intricate work available.  That's just how I am, go big or go home.  In college I was always picking the hardest thing to draw or paint.  How can I grow if I don't challenge myself? I'm drawing out a picture of Alice in Wonderland to cut out.  It's turning out awesome, so I was up all last night tossing and turning because ideas were running through my head like a marathon runner. The possibilities are endless and the creativity is just flowing. I can't wait to get my hands on an X-Acto knife!

"What about your painting?"  you may be asking.  Yes, this happens. When you get tired of looking at a painting and get tired of painting rocks, sometimes it's good to walk away and clear your mind with another project. At least for me it is.  Plus, we are moving here soon and I don't want to move a wet canvas! Do you know how long it takes for oil paint to completely dry??  Up to a month or longer!! So I will get back to it eventually, but for now, I'm all about paper cutting!!  Below are some wonderful examples!  Below is the seller I referenced to above. His name is Rene, and he lives in Germany and by far my favorite cutting artist. I love the detail and the stories they tell. It keeps you looking at it for long periods of time because there's just so much going on. Enjoy the work I have posted and go visit his shop! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Mommy's Frustration

The past week or so my 19 month old daughter, Anya, has been driving me crazy.  I have to vent about this so please bare with me. Anya usually takes an afternoon nap at around noon time.  Lately her naps are non-existant.  When I put her down she just plays in the crib. Ok, so you're saying "What's the big deal?  She's not screaming, you can still get things done".  This is not true.  I live in an apartment so she hears everything. I open a bag of chips, she hears it.  I open the guest bedroom door, she hears it.  I clean my paintbrush, she hears it.  So, while she is playing in bed, I sit here on the computer twiddling my thumbs praying she will finally fall asleep so I can go on and paint or clean up around the apt. or even take a shower.  Not only is she not taking a nap. She is becoming very whiny. She whines about the smallest thing and it drives me up the wall.  I try to play with her, she whines. I sit down, she whines.  I don't know if she's cutting her second molars or she's going through her terrible two's stage early.  All I know is I'm going on borderline insanity here. 

I think this is partially due to the fact I have been stuck in the house for a week or so with nothing to do and no one to see.  I take Anya to the library every week, but that's still not good enough.  I think I need time to myself.  This is almost impossible since we have no money for drop-in daycare and no family here to help out.  We just moved up north to follow my husband's job.  I would have my husband watch her on the weekends while I go do something but what would I do?  I wouldn't know what to do with myself! I can't go to the store, I have no money.  I can't go anywhere with anyone because I have no friends up here yet. I joined a mommy's group in hopes of making friends who also have kids around the same age.  I met a nice woman with a son Anya's age but our schedules haven't really lined up together yet. 

Yesterday I had a breakdown while Anya was "down for a nap".  I'm about to have another one since this is the third day in a row Anya hasn't had a nap.  Maybe I'm depressed?  I don't know.

Mental breakdown in 3...2.......

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"PaPa's Getaway" - Painting in progress.

This is my painting in progress titled "PaPa's Getaway". The reason I titled it "PaPa's Getaway",  is because I was told this lake cabin was built by my great grandfather, PaPa Judy, as a place for him to go and fish. Little did he know it would become much more than that. Growing up, I remember packing up in the van and heading to the lake. The van we took was the type of work van where there were no back seats. It was a work van large enough to put tools or a lawnmower in it if you needed. So it would be me, my two sisters and our dog rolling around the back, it was comical. Remeber, this is a time when you didn't have to wear seat belts.

I remember going to the lake every Summer and Spring celebrating birthday parties, Easter, or just going to hang around and swim.  My grandfather, Poppy, seemed to always be the one grilling out hamburgers and hot dogs. We would be swimming and laying on the dock all day until we would hear the dinner bell. Literally, we had a dinner bell.  We would all cram into the little cabin and eat our lunch only to go right back into the water! We had a pontoon boat for a while but they always seemed to break down. Though we didn't have a boat, it didn't take away from the time we spent at the cabin. 

I could spend all day telling you about the memories I had down at the lake cabin. I have about 1,000 more things I could go on and on about.  I didn't realize the impact this little cabin had on people until it went up for sale and everyone on Facebook lit up my aunt's pictures with comments.

Upon hearing about having to sell our cabin, I decided to paint it to remember all the work my great grandfather put into it and to remember all of the great memories he built for us.  Everyone is so sad to see it go, but we will always have our special memories to keep.